EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement enters into force
On 1 February, the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Japan entered into force. It is the EU's largest bilateral trade agreement to date. The agreement establishes a free trade area with a combined market of over 600 million consumers, accounting for a third of the world's gross domestic product (GDP).
"The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement will improve conditions for 180 Lithuanian companies that are already exporting goods to Japan and will open up new opportunities for many other companies," said Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius.
The agreement will improve access for Lithuanian goods to the Japanese market, which has a high purchasing power. The EPA will see 91% of tariffs eliminated at entry into force. Tariffs on all industrial goods will be removed fully over the long-term.
Japan is the first export market for Lithuanian goods in Asia. In 2017, Lithuania exported goods as much as EUR 118.8 million, of which 96 per cent consisted of exports of goods of Lithuanian origin. Mostly Lithuania exported tobacco products, optical and medical equipment, diagnostic reagents, furniture, lasers, snails, milk powder, and textiles to Japan in 2017. 82 per cent of Lithuania’s exporters to Japan are small and medium-sized enterprises. Special attention is given to them in the agreement, which includes specific provisions to facilitate trade conditions for small and medium-sized businesses.
For more information on the agreement, please read here.